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illegal sweatshop above me!

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illegal sweatshop above me!

Postby arcticranger » Sun Dec 04, 2005 4:00 pm

I live on E82nd Street, a residential only building. The studio apartment above mine changed tenants last July. I started noticing a lot of noise but ignored it thinking it was renovation of some kind.

It is actually a manufacturing facility of some kind. Whoever rented it has subleased it to a group of Asians. Several live there and others arrive in shifts all through the day and night. I hear machines running 24x7. things dropping on the floor over my bed, dragging of large objects, power tools, etc.

I have reported it to the landlord who said I have to get other neighbors to complain or else it's not something he will look into. I spoke to several neighbors who at first confirmed they were hearing the noises around the clock, then changed their stories when I asked them to phone the landlord.

The police have been here and said they can do nothing, even late at night. I called 311 and filed a complaint with DOB but have no idea when my complaint has or will be attended to.

Meanwhile I cannot sleep or even think in my apartment. I am really not sure what to do. I thought such a use of residential space was illegal but it seems not to be. The Asians have been at my door several times banging and screaming at me in Chinese. The landlord himself, rather than follow up on my complaint, simply told these people I was the complainer. Being home feels pretty creepy. My friends are telling me to move out, that it is becoming dangerous. The landlord says 'do what you gotta do guy'.

Any advice is appreciated.

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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 2:01 am
Location: E82nd Street

Re: illegal sweatshop above me!

Postby lofter1 » Sun Dec 04, 2005 6:47 pm

If what you say is correct then this is a violation of both zoning regs and allowable uses per C/O.

You might try giving your local fire house a call (or pay them a visit).

The landlord is getting the rent, so why should he care? Besides LL could be well "connected" -- and thereby thinks himself immune to laws / regs.
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Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 1:01 am

Re: illegal sweatshop above me!

Postby Downtown » Mon Dec 05, 2005 9:29 am

Continue to call 311 and check with DOB on status of complaint. Do so every day until an inspector comes (which hopefully you will be home to let into building.
Though might not be a sweatshop...clearly a zoning violation if a manufactoring business being operated within.
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Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2002 1:01 am
Location: NYC, NY

Re: illegal sweatshop above me!

Postby Concourse » Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:09 pm

Also you should call Immigration enforcement. They have a hot line 800 number for just that kind of situation, which no doubt includes illegal aliens.
A stupid landlord is a joy to behold.
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Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Big Apple

Re: illegal sweatshop above me!

Postby Emeraldstar » Sun Dec 18, 2005 3:40 am

Kurt interesting message you posted. I have sent notices to my LL about the exact same issues above my apt. I got the same response. I did contact DOB & was referred to HPD who did send an inspector. I recieved a report explaining the building pipe system and it never addressed my exact complaint. There is an issue with inspectors gaining access into the apt. Along with the super the inspector does not get a response to their bell/knocks meanwhile I have heard activity within the apt at the time of inspection.The persons above me also utilize the plumming in the bathroom and create loud pipe bangs thru the entire night ceasing the bangs approx. 7am. I am currently in the process of recording the noise. The issue of numbers of Asians/others is speculated about by other tenants in the building as a gang related issue hired by the LL to annoy tenants out of their apts. My neighbors are afraid. If you want to maintain where you are living you are going to have to create tangiable evidence of the nusience it creates then notify in writing your LL. If you recieve no support at the very least you have enough evidence to demand an inspection with a warrant thru DOB,HPD and what ever other agencies that address this issue. Hope this helps and I'll keep posted any changes I discover that might.
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Re: illegal sweatshop above me!

Postby Emeraldstar » Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:24 pm

Have you had any success with the problem above you?
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Re: illegal sweatshop above me!

Postby Emeraldstar » Sun Jan 08, 2006 1:17 pm

Hi Kurt
Wondering if there is any new news?
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